Hello, and greetings my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag-bearer of all beards on digital and digital broadcasting media. I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile. My Bearded brothers, you might be wondering why I haven’t been featuring on here, brothers I would like to just say I am still here, don’t worry.
Brothers, I want to talk about an important issue and that is the issue of my trip to Pakistan. Where do I begin … the trip was pretty much three weeks long. I came into the journey nervous and not sure what to expect. The slight delay to fly and then the fact boarding starts 30-40 mins before the actual liftoff, was great for the nerves! (sarcasm overload in that statement). So the nerves were there up in the air worried about X, Y and Z but then the nerves just went.
I have never been one to fall asleep on planes, I just can’t do it! So with that in mind, I opened the in-air flight entertainment and after seeing the entertainment package on offer, it was pure bliss. Two and a Half Men, Blackish and The First Team made for good in-flight entertainment. Especially with The First Team, there is an example of an entertainment gem being unearthed.
So, seven hours went down to six and then six to five then before I knew it, it was time to land. So Lahore airport I arrived and the search operation for my luggage began. In a scene reminiscent of Generation Game, there I looked at everyone’s luggage on the conveyor belt and it went round and round, ready to pounce and grab my luggage with lightening reactions that are needed to get your suitcase.
After negotiating that, up to the Covid testing centre we went to get more jabs up our nose, my holiday to Pakistan was getting closer to the beginning, but things were stuck in second gear as we negotiated through the last bit of checks need to break through from Allama Iqbal Airport. After the test was done, we started a walk of freedom out of the airport and there we were greeted by our driver who gleefully loaded our luggage into his car as me, my wife and dear parents sat ourselves down in the car.
Despite it being the early hours of the morning the traffic out of the airport was a lot, but when things did clear a 40 km stretch of road followed. Beaches and picturesque views allowed me to reset my mind and start to embrace the experience. After not having any sleep in the flight journey, my eyes would open and close as I feebly tried to stay awake, I was told I was defeated in that battle as my dad told me my mouth was open and I was in a sleeping state, breathing lightly.
So after a nearly three-hour journey, we got to our Pakistan home. For me, it was the first time seeing the home and I was in love with the attention to detail that my parents put into the making of this house. A nicely crafted door once opened made visible a very welcoming lobby and lounge area in one. Touches of Pakistan, but some English touches too, made my heart settled that my trip to Pakistan although Covid affected will be a good one.
Coming into this journey, I opened my mind about living here, so I was looking at everything objectively. From the way, someone looked at me, to how the shopkeepers were towards me. I have brown skin and speak the local language, but because I live in England I was seen as English by some , even though I say proudly I have Pakistani origins. Due to being cautious, outside travel was restricted and family visits were sparingly done too.
This didn’t ruin my experience. What I benefitted from was good quality time with my dear aunt and dear Uncle. The banter, the joking and their life experiences which they passed on was priceless.
A family wedding was interesting too, interesting as I was naturally curious about how they conduct weddings there. Not too different from how British Pakistani’s do it here. Rented cars and smart shalwar kameez with a suit jacket, I felt right like I was at home.
I didn’t do too much whilst out in Pakistan due to Covid, but I was happy to admire the beautiful greenery that I saw when I looked out of my windows in my house in Pakistan. The PTV Sports sports programmes too was a home comfort. When I passed my COVID test (72 hours before the end of the journey) , I ventured out to see my aunt and was able to witness some beautiful views in Hafizabad. To summarize, I loved my time in Pakistan. What did I do there? Nothing, but the relaxed style of living in my village suits me perfectly.
Pakistan helped me lose one stone of weight effortlessly, it helped me grow as a person. The quality of food is better, meaning I didn’t binge on junk food whilst out there. The weather is better and the slower lifestyle helped and suited me to the t. The local camaraderie that too can’t be put into words. I went to Pakistan for three weeks, it felt like three months as time stood still, but went fast at the same time.
Pakistan is a beautiful country, you have to see it to believe it and not just take my word for it.
Can’t wait to see you next time Pakistan.